On 28th November, 2018 I made a very casual trip to an ancient village town known as Thiruvathigai near Punruti, Cuddulore district in Tamil Nadu state of India.

The district had an unusual visitor just two weeks before my visit there in the name of  kaja cyclone leaving havoc on all walks of life.

I was very much determined to go there and did not cancel my journey tickets.

 I was very much delighted to pay a visit to the Thiruvathigai (shiva stalangal 108) known for its rich history, art and belief systems and I made it finally to share my thoughts and pictures.

 Unique cultural heritage, Tamil literature, poems, hymns and history associated with this historic place dates back to seventh century as per records.

 When I stepped into the main gates of Arulmigu veerattaneswarar Hindu temple at Thiruvathigai, I recalled how true the words of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe that “Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space”.

Architectural style, beautiful carvings and mural paintings on the ceilings of the main entrance mandapa of the temple and dance poses of  Bhart Nat yam (Images for bharatanatyam mudras) carved out minutely and chiseled on the granite stone pillars of this unique place testifies the fact that in the history of mankind it is simply not possible to overcome a single day without encountering architecture and technology. It is hundred percent true whenever one visit a space filled with architectural beauty decorated in tradition and history.

I got wonder struck when the temple priest narrated the following unique features associated with the temple.

 The shadow of the garbhagiraha Vimanam placed on the top of the main gopura does not fall on the ground at any season of the calendar year.

The idol Panchamuga (5faces) Lingam a rare piece of an architectural wonder placed inside the praharam (see the picture) cannot be found anywhere else. Four faces facing four directions and the fifth facing the sky.

The temple structure is in the shape of ratha (chariot)

  Poet saints of Tamil literature Thirunavukarasar, Ginyasambanthar and Sundarar referred this place in their hymns.

  One can conduct temple marriages, Shashti poorthi, Bhima ratha and Sada abiskekam functions in the temple premises with the blessing of god Almighty.

 Photo by stockresearch52There are around 108 sculptures representing the vivid style of “Thandavas in the dance cult of Bhathanatyam. 

: shiv tandav mudras


Main deity, lord Shiva, popularly known here as Veerattaneswarar, is suyambu with 16 stripes in the face of the lingam.

Temple’s goddess Periya Nayaki has got separate sanathi where Sri Yantra is kept on the ground in front of the goddess.

 One can find 5ft Buddha statue also in the open space leading to 16 kaal mandapam.

This unique temple town located near the river Kedilam has very unique feature of producing talents in wooden crafts over nine generations.

I went to Mr.R.Rangachari’s wooden workshop (ninth generation on the job) located on the Palur road to know about rich history behind the preparations of temple wooden carvings, cart, moola vigraham, utsava vaganangal, Kodi maram and so on.

He shared fully his expertise on the type of woods used in all preparations and the traditional tools that are used in the making of these wonderful wooden temples’ decorative with colorful paintings.

In his explanation I could easily notice his vivacity and élan about the ancient temple wooden art and craftsmanship. His minute details on the engineering aspects of the subject conveyed the quality of his sheer passion for the job.

The sad part currently is the dwindling nature of demand for their products. In the same time encouraging aspect is the spread of this unique talent to other parts of the globe. As a result some demand is trickling of late with some business opportunities.

I wished him and other members all the best and left the place by recollecting what I read in my younger days that “Talent is truth on display”.


28 replies to “Thiruvathigai………..Veerattaneswarar

  1. Man, your story and the photos make me miss India so much. I can’t get enough of the true artistry everywhere you go, especially when combined with the history of the temples. We passed right by that temple on our way to Puducherry. But that’s India, eh? You can’t swing a cat without touching a temple or diety. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting and the photos are wonderful. Can you tell me anything about the sculpture of the very colorful horse that seems to be balancing on the mans head. As a horse enthusiast I would like to know more about this figure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks anne for ferrying into my blog. The colorful horse is made of Wood.One group of village community in that location specialises in making wooden dolls and other wooden carvings associated with temple festivals
      and so on. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You may also visit my post on “Soul raising vibrations on stones” to appreciate how stone carvings of horses beautify the pillars of ancient hindu temples in India.


    1. Thanks for ferrying into my blog. You have come out with an interesting question.
      Every one here is entitled to pray individually to God Almighty.
      What is called “archanas” and “abishekams” are done by the priest. This is the tradition
      followed over many years. This job is done by the temple priest inside the “garbagrha”(where the prime deity is kept)
      Where others are not entitled to go.You can see and participate by standing at a distance.

      Liked by 2 people

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